Congress received a major jolt in Meghalaya after 12 of its MLAs out of 17 joined Trinamool Congress, making it the state's main Opposition.
One of the prominent figures of the new joinees includes former Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma. The rest of the list of leaders include Charles Pyngrope, Marthon Sangma, Jimmy D Sangma, Lazarus Sangma, Shitlang Pale, Miyani D Shira, Himalaya M, George B Lyngdoh, Dikkanchi D Shira, Winnerson D Sangma and Zenith Sangma.
Trinamool Congress on Wednesday midnight had claimed that 12 Congress MLAs joined its ranks. A WhatsApp message from the sources in TMC read: "12 of the 17 Congress MLAs in Meghalaya join Trinamool. Principal Opposition in Meghalaya is now Trinamool. Another huge setback for Congress."
Sources close to TMC also revealed that the MLAs had submitted resignation letters to Meghalaya Legislative Assembly Speaker Metbah Lyngdoh on Wednesday itself.
Speaking on the change in the political scenario in the state, the TMC legislature (who prefer not to be named) told ANI: "People, who want to put an end to BJP's rule, are very much willing to see West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the lead role because prior to this, whoever came in the lead role, their political bankruptcy came in the forefront forcing people to uproot their trust from these leaders. Now people want to fight under the shelter of Mamata Banerjee."
The leader further said, "Although TMC is the third-largest party as per the number of seats in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, but it has proved itself to be the actual Opposition through its actions."
"The main difference between Congress and TMC is the former is 'Congress minus grassroot connection' whereas the latter has tremendous grassroots connections," the leader remarked.
In the 2018 elections, Congress had emerged as the single largest party by bagging 21 seats in the 60-member state Assembly. The National People's Party (NPP) had bagged 19 seats and the BJP won two. But the NPP managed to form an alliance to form the ruling government as part of the BJP-backed North East Democratic Alliance.
In a press conference held on Thursday afternoon in Meghalaya Mukul Sangma had said, "A complete sense of commitment towards serving the people has brought us to take this decision. In the 2018 Assembly polls, we were confident of forming a government but we could not. Again, post-poll there were activities to poach our members."
"This group of 17 we have, collectively demonstrated our commitment...the commitment towards the state has superseded everything else...we are failing in our duty as far as the role of the Opposition is concerned," Sangma added.
Meanwhile, Meghalaya is slated to hold Assembly elections in 2023 for 60 seats. (ANI)